Enroll

Less Desks, More PE: Looking at the Big Picture

If we're going to try to change our education system (and I really think we should), then that raises the question of how to reform it. In my view, one of the most important things is looking at the whole picture.

I was discussing education with a friend at lunch today. Though our work together isn't in education, we'd both been through the experience of briefly going into teaching, and of being incredibly frustrated by the experience. Like me, she's worked in process improvement, and so likes to look for the ways to make things better. One of her suggestions for education, was more physical education.

Her reason for this wasn't even just about improving health, though that is one potential benefit. It wasn't about improving confidence, though for more physically capable pupils it could have that effect. It is to serve as a catalyst for students to blow off steam, and to use up their excess energy so that they can sit and concentrate through their other lessons.

For me, this highlights the benefits of looking at the whole picture. One of the ways that we've gotten to the point we have with education, is by looking at subjects in isolation. We recognize that it's good for children to learn some math. And some English. And some French. And some history. And some PE. And the compartmentalized list goes on. We seldom look at how the "subjects" all add up to a lived experience. How does learning grammar rules in French help with English learning? What about how some pupils might take in more information at a desk, broken up by extended physical activity, than a five hour desk-based day? The current format of almost non-existent physical activity coupled with hours of sitting, quickly erodes into uselessness, damaging both learning and behavior.

Again, I'm not saying I have the answers. I'm not saying that lots of PE is necessarily the only, or even the best, way to break up the day. But the only way we're going to find solutions is by stepping back from the flawed system we currently have. Perhaps the value we place on this or that lesson is small potatoes, if we stop and look at the big picture.

Andrew Knighton

About Andrew Knighton

I'm a writer and ex-teacher. You can find more of my writing on education at: http://www.degreediary.com/bloggers/27 I also have a blog on reading and writing: https://andrewknighton.wordpress.com/

Andrew Knighton

Top Posts | Social Impact on Education

Ensuring Comfortable Travel on Public Transport

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools (MCVTS) in conjunction with the Rutgers University and the New Jersey Travel Independent Program has made it their goal to provide comfortable public transportation for special needs students.According to Dr. Tracey I. Maccia, the director of sp ...

Learning from These Airmen

A famous quote states “education is the key to success.” True, yes. Any person with a degree has a higher chance of getting a high paying job or has the capacity to build and manage his own business; but acquiring a degree while working full-time can be taxing and tedious. In spite of t ... ...

Carrotmob's Free Curriculum

Ever since the whole concept of sustainability and environment-conscious living came to popularity, a lot of protests and boycotts have been seen against organizations that use materials and policies that are harmful to the environment. Sometimes it works, but most of the time nothing beneficial re ...

The Imagination Summit

Children don’t have any lack of imagination. Give a child a lump of clay and they will make something out of it. The constructed structure may be completely abstract, but you cannot discount the creativity and imagination that are put into making it. So, why is our education system designed t ... ...

Negative Environments and Child Development

Children are on the whole impressionable, and therefore likely to replicate behaviors they see as normal or acceptable. This  can perpetuate antisocial behaviors they are shown at early ages. When a child who has had a misguided childhood, socio-economically or emotionally, incorrect developme ... ...

How Video Games Are Good For Kids

If you know kids who like to play video games, whatever you do, don't let them get their hands on this information! The last thing you want them throwing back in your face is the possibility that playing video games might not be all that bad for them. In fact, in many ways, it turns out that vi ... ...